The unthinkable has transpired, as Chris Weidman knocked out Anderson Silva to win the UFC middleweight championship. While Weidman may have every right to celebrate this monumental feat, there's one thing that we cannot deny.
Silva simply didn't look as if he were bringing a full effort.
Before we move forward, it's important to note the historical nature of the feat Weidman has just achieved. Not only has Weidman become middleweight champion, but Silva has also been nothing short of brilliant leading up to this fight.
There's a legitimate case to be made that Silva is the best UFC fighter of all time.
Unfortunately, we just didn't see this fighter against Weidman.
From start to finish, Silva appeared to be more inclined to taunt than attempt landing strikes. From his endless trash talk to his consistent willingness to drop his gloves and dare his assignment to hit him harder, we saw it all.
In the end, it was just one taunt too many.
This isn't the first time Anderson Silva's in-ring effort has been criticized, as he's been known to taunt opponents. While his world-class ability permits him to do just about anything in the Octagon, there comes a time when a fighter needs to focus.
During his match against Chris Weidman, Silva lost that eye-on-the-prize mentality.
Silva was toying with Weidman, taking blow after blow, specifically to his eyes and jaw. When Weidman geared back and flashed his power, however, Silva could barely remain on his own two feet.
Just like that, arrogance cost Silva his title.
Had Spider been emotionally and mentally invested in the fight, we may not be having this conversation. Unfortunately, we'll never know what could've been, as Silva decided to taunt and ridicule, lacking the slightest form of focus on the prize at hand.
Not only did that cost Silva, but it also forced some to question his superstar legitimacy—don't ponder for too long, as it genuinely doesn't make sense.
When it comes to Anderson Silva's fights, his ability to escape with his back against the wall puts any opponent he faces in trouble. With that being said, there are recent fights that have taught us just how close one can come to defeating Silva.
Just ask Chael Sonnen.
Sonnen took Silva to the brink during their first fight, dominating until the Brazilian caught him with a triangle armbar in the fifth round. Roughly two years later, Silva again appeared to be disengaged, and Sonnen capitalized by dominating the first round.
Sonnen proceeded to lay a brutal beatdown in the second round and quiet the critics.
This time around, Silva simply didn't have an escape route that he was able to follow. Instead, his showmanship and arrogance in the Octagon ended up being his undoing.
We can't help but wonder—what would this fight have looked like if Silva gave 100 percent?
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